This new body of the civil society will work to take advantage of the International Year of Family Farming 2014 in order to improve the living conditions of rural families, as well as food and nutrition security among the Costa Rican population.
Civil society in Costa Rica has joined the trail started in Colombia, Brazil and Ecuador by creating a national committee for the International Year of Family Farming -IYFF- 2014. This group, formally established on October 1, consists of several peasant organizations, NGOs, research and rural development centers, and representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture and FAO.
The meeting for the creation of this body was held on October 1 in San José, the capital of Costa Rica. Participants at the meeting discussed various issues related to Family Farming, mainly the approaches, experiences and actions carried out in Costa Rica and the rest of Central America. Finally, after analyzing the trajectory of national committees already created in Latin America on the occasion of the IYFF 2014, it was agreed by consensus the constitution of the National Committee to boost the International Year of Family Farming 2014 in Costa Rica.
Groups and entities involved in this body are the National Association of Producer Rural Women (ANAMAR), the Regional Association of Community Health, the Association National Peasant Table, the Coproalde network, the State Distance University (UNED), the Agrarian Development Institute (IDA), the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE), the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG) and FAO. New organizations are expected to be added soon to this committee.
According to the participating groups, Family Farming plays “a highly significant role in the rural territory, from the standpoint of economy, society, culture and environment”. “We agree with other countries; it is the basis of sustainable food production to contribute to food security, the preservation of biodiversity and an important cultural heritage in rural communities”, they stressed.
National Committee members noted that the theme of Family Farming is being addressed at length in Costa Rica, and it has even been incorporated as a strategic area of the State Policy for the Agrifood Sector and Rural Development 2010-2021. However, they also felt the need for a “greater impact on public policy”, in order to achieve “a place of preference and differentiated tools that contribute to improve the lives of rural families, food security and nutrition” in their country.
The National Committee also assumed that farmers and peasants’ organizations should be the main protagonists of the year. In that sense, they hope that the 2014 IYFF culminates “in a new legislation and a major national project for Family Farming, through the coordination and integration of public and private sectors”.
As the global coordinator of the civil society for the IYFF 2014 preparation programme, the World Rural Forumwelcomes this news with a sense of joy and hope. As with the other national committees officially formed earlier, the WRF expresses its full support to the Costa Rican body. The work and commitment of organizations around the world to Family Farming continues to advance; the process started in Costa Rica proves once again that national committees provide a good framework to strengthen ties and join forces to intensify the existing advocacy work.
The idea of multiple national 2014 IYFF support committees, working to produce effective changes for family farmers in each country and coordinated at continental and global level, reinforces the dynamics and energy generated around this event worldwide.